Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Part inspiration, part perspiration...

...Part motivation. The last one of the three is usually the hardest to muster.

So, Bristol Rat Race marked the start of the summer season, both working- and racing-wise. A fantastic weekend was had by most, the water crew especially, who had a wonderful time kayaking at Redcliffe, pontoon-rafting by the Cottage, and paddling and abseiling at the NADC quarry at Chepstow.

Today's sermon kind of follows on from the weekend activities, and it's a tricky one. Motivation to exercise can be hard work, harder than the exercise itself when it comes down to it. There's been lots of great phrases that have come up over the years, lovely snippets and soundbites that we can all quote. We use them to make ourselves feel better, or to justify our own actions, or just to divert attention from the fact that, as smug as we are in quoting them, we haven't had much motivation ourselves. Some can become a mantra, words to get us through the bad patches. Some become a target, words to aspire to, a level of glory to attain. And some become a stick, words to whip ourselves into shape, a shadowy nemesis to mentally spar against. Whatever the processing method, if the end result is increased output and activity, all good.

I'm often short of motivation. I can find innumerable excuses not to get out for a run, not to go biking, not to get on the river and paddle. Injuries, kit to be repaired, lack of time, etc etc ad nauseaum. It's difficult to set a routine, difficult to remember to eat at the right times, difficult to squeeze in those sessions between work, food, sleep and slobbing out in front of the PC. I have targets, and they are myriad: This race, that race, to lose that much weight, to do at least one 10km a week, to ride a couple of nights a week. But the sofa is comfy, and my legs hurt, and it's raining, and I've had a bad day...

A song lyric, from some time ago, says "Do one thing every day that scares you". At the weekend, for one of our water crew, that was doing a 62 metre abseil. For some, it was crossing the pontoon raft we rigged in Bristol harbour. For more, it was lining up on the start of their first Rat Race. For me, it's sometimes just putting on my shorts, jersey and jacket, and walking out of the door. Hesitancy can be overcome with a gentle prod, some mild verbal abuse, and the encouragement of others. Perhaps the best way to encourage motivation is a) to be scared all the time and b) to cultivate a small group of inner voices to encourage/abuse you a lot.

For me, there will always be many sets of words rushing around my head. Song lyrics, inspirational speech and mild abuse in equal parts. But to quote a good friend, and to paraphrase a large sports clothing manufacturer, perhaps the best logic is to "Jist dae it"...

1 comment:

ross said...

Hehehe. I need a "Pyro Button" in my house that triggers some gentle verbal abuse every time by sofa beckons.